By Sean Richards Tags: Partnerships and Integrations To support the learning experience of today’s learners, your school needs technology and platforms that integrate and consolidate systems to achieve a seamless flow of data between your School Information System (SIS), your School Learning Management System (LMS) and School Portal. But not all integrations are born equal. You need a mature integration that will ensure seamless flow of data between your school’s core platforms, and will help your school to improve the user experience and enhance the learning journey. The last thing you want is an integration that creates more work for your school staff, diminishes the learning experience of your students, and excludes engagement with parents and the broader school community. Students need to be at the centre of the learning experience and be encouraged to take risks, be curious and challenge norms. And digital learning technology can enhance that journey—because learners thrive in a connected community. Reality check when decision making The word integration is often thrown around very loosely. But what does “integration” actually mean? When assessing an integration, It’s critical to dive deep into the reality of what the integration will deliver. There are integrations that will fail miserably. So, when making your initial assessment, take the time to ask some of the following questions: What are the fields and data points that are actually integrated? Is the integration ‘real time’ or ‘data sync’; if ‘data sync’, how often does the sync occur? What is the relationship between the two integrating companies; is there active collaboration, communication, and support? When was the last time the integration had any changes or enhancements? How long has the integration been running in live customer environments? What is the development roadmap for the integration? Are there any customer reviews for the integration? Are there any caveats, known issues or limitations that existing customers have reported regarding the integration? Asking targeted questions will enable you to make an informed decision as to the improvements the integration will make to your school and assess whether the integration will support the delivery of your school’s goals. The SIS Integration Checklist So, what does a quality SIS integration look like? The integration adds significant value and isn’t just a tick box. A quality integration should deliver on your operational requirements without compromising your learning and community engagement goals. The integration achieves centralisation of data and preserves the data integrity as it moves from one platform to another, without creating “extra” work. A good SIS integration should help surface everyday SIS related functions (attendance, pastoral and reporting data) into a single platform and drive engagement across parents, staff, students, and the broader school community. The integration provides a validated, improved, simple, and intuitive end-user experience for parents, staff, students, and the broader school community. Where possible, transfer of data via the integration should execute in real time and go beyond simple synchronisation. Certain workflows can be transformed via clever bi-directional integration of data. Automations can be achieved as a consequence of the integration. A simple example is automated user provisioning from your school’s SIS into other platforms while a more sophisticated example may be dynamically adding and removing people to relative groups in the LMS and portal, based on SIS fields like house, year level or campus. At the end of the day, you want an integration that will simplify your school day and enable you to focus on what really matters—enhancing the student learning experience and achieving student success! Not only that, having a first-class integration will showcase your school as a leader in harnessing the digital platform to build a highly engaged school community centred around the learning needs of students. Want to learn more? Schoolbox encompasses market-leading integrations that provide seamless LMS and School Portal rollouts. Check out our On-Demand Webinars: Benefits of the Schoolbox + TASS Market-Leading Integration Clever Integrations: Schoolbox + Tribal SchoolEdge Walkthrough Schoolbox + Edsmart—Tools for Smarter Schools We’re also about to launch a live Webinar on the Schoolbox and Synergetic Integration. Stay tuned!